OPEN, The Alternative to SOPA

Not only “The Internet” is against the Stop Online Piracy Act, dozens of politicians also have their doubts.

In a response, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and several colleagues just released draft legislation that is less draconian than SOPA.

Their proposal is titled Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act, or OPEN and they welcome input from the public.

Thus far the response from SOPA critics has been mainly positive.

The EFF comments:

Our inital take is that while the bill is far from perfect, some crucial steps have been taken. For instance:

– The bill does not require service providers or seach engines to take any action. In other words, the DNS System remains intact.

– The definition of targeted sites has been significantly narrowed to include only those “dedicated to infringing activity,” and only those that are “accessed through a non-domestic domain name” and that have “only limited purpose or use other than engaging in infringing activity and whose owner or operator primarily uses the site to willfully engage in infringing activity.”

– The International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency, would be tasked with investigating complaints from content owners. The ITC’s process, one which is currently used in the patent context, is transparent, quick, and effective. Both parties would have the opportunity to participate and the record would be public. The process would include many important due process protections, such as effective notice to the site of the complaint and ensuing investigation as well as the ability to challenge any final permanent injunction in a federal court.

Will be interesting to see how this will be received in Washington.


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